In our recent webcast, “The Strategic PMO: Beyond On-Time/On-Budget,” guest speaker Margo Visitacion of Forrester Research shared an insight that was at the same time obvious and profound: where a project or program management office (PMO) resides within the organization impacts its ability to deliver value.
Earlier this year, Forrester and the Project Management Institute conducted a joint survey that elicited responses from 693 PMO leaders. In response to the question “How is your PMO perceived in delivering value to overall business growth?” the percentage indicating the PMO delivers either “significant” or “moderate” value is markedly higher, when the reporting relationship between the PMO and the business is close:
This correlation seems to get at 2 critical “keys to success” for PMOs looking to provide more business value – executive support, and the alignment of projects with strategy. When a PMO reports to senior leadership on the business side, it stands to reason that they are more likely to understand the overall direction of the organization and how their programs & projects support it. They are also more likely to develop close relationships with executives who possess the clout to successfully advocate for them. And the PMO’s place of prominence in the org tree signals its importance to all staff, which can only help in environments where the PMO must marshal resources across business units and geographies.
One can readily see, by contrast, how PMOs situated in lower management or a single business silo are more prone to becoming disconnected from the strategic priorities of the organization, more readily put-off by staff when they need to execute cross-functional projects, and more easily viewed as a discretionary budget item by the Powers that Be.
I encourage you to view the webcast recording to gain additional insight on how PMOs can maximize their strategic impact.